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Concord Currents: What's happening in and around Concord this week

Posted by  January 23, 2014 02:13 PM

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State passes same-day voter registration

The State Senate last week passed legislation reforming election laws in Massachusetts. The bill authorizes early voting for state and federal elections and primaries, allows residents to register to vote on election day, and creates an online voter registration system. It also allows 16 and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote.

“The goal here is to expand access,” said State Sen. Mike Barrett (D-Lexington). “When people can vote early and 16 and 17-year-olds can preregister, the process gets more convenient and more people can take part. That’s a good thing.”

Under the bill Massachusetts would join 32 other states and D.C. which allow early voting. Early voting would begin 10 business days before the election and end two days prior.

In addition to building an online voter registration system, the Secretary of State would create a secure online portal allowing voters to easily check their registration status and polling place.

Concord Museum free on Sunday

“Be Our Guest” takes place again Sunday, Jan. 26 at the Concord Museum from 1 to 4 p.m. Enjoy the galleries, take a break in our Museum Shop and visit our two special exhibitions.

Caucus is Monday night

Do you want to run for public office in Concord? You’ll have a chance to declare your intentions at the annual town caucus on Monday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Town House. Nominees for selectmen, School Committee, and Housing Authority will be introduced and voted on by caucus attendees. Alternatively, candidates can get signatures and be placed on the town ballot for the spring election.

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest

All community members are invited to attend a special evening with Lee Woodruff on January 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fenn School. Lee Woodruff is author of the best-selling book, "In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing," which tells the harrowing story of the traumatic brain injury suffered by her husband Bob, then an ABC News correspondent, while embedded with troops in Iraq. Lee is also a CBS news contributor, philanthropist, devoted mother and wife. Space is limited! Reserve your FREE ticket at or (978) 369-5250. Since 1947, the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest has strengthened our community by marshalling resources to help those in need.

Fowler Flicks

The West Concord branch library continues its Free Friday Flicks at Fowler tomorrow at 7 p.m. with “The Lives of Others,” a 2006 German film. In this Oscar-winning political thriller directed by von Donnersmarck, an East German secret police agent spies on a prominent playwright suspected of disloyalty, and finds himself irresistibly drawn into the lives of the playwright and his girlfriend, a famous actress. (Rated R). On Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., the library will air “The Well-Digger’s Daughter,” a 2011 French film. Daniel Auteuil directed and stars as a poor laborer whose world is turned upside-down when his beloved daughter falls in love with a dashing, wealthy pilot, who is called away to fight in World War I. (Not Rated). Sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library, the series features unique and critically-acclaimed international films. Free admission. Seating is limited. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. [View Complete Film Schedule]

Celebrate Darwin and Lincoln

On Feb. 12, you are invited to the First Parish to join the birthday party for Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, and Abraham Lincoln. Sponsored by the Concord Area Humanist Society, the party starts at 7 p.m. The speaker is well-known doctor Henry Vailliant, who will speak on the importance of these two historic figures. He has taught at Harvard, Tufts, and Northeastern. He practiced medicine in Acton for 37 years. Vailliant held many offices at Emerson Hospital, including President of the Medical Staff, and Chair of the Department of Medicine. Interested in Darwin since reading Voyage of the Beagle 50 years ago, he recently visited the Galapagos. Lincoln was a boyhood hero who became even more fascinating the older Vailliant became. Themes will include: how both men were frontier explorers and were fundamentally conservative yet profoundly revolutionary. He will also discuss how medical advances may change the evolution of Homo Sapiens. An RSVP would help our planning. Please send it to with “DARWIN” in subject line.

New art show at Frame-ables

Starting this Saturday, Jan. 25 through Feb. 28, Gallery 111 in Frame-ables is pleased to announce "BOLD Lines," a group exhibition of contemporary artists. These four artists—Adam O'Day, Candice Oyer, Lisa Sazer, and Olga Resptushenko—all explore the use of lines in new ways to create artwork that is both innovative and yet familiar.

Artist Adam O'Day has been walking the line between familiar and innovative through out his career. Inspired by architecture, landscapes, and comic books, O'Day's mixed media paintings are wildly entertaining. Artist Lisa Sazer uses acrylic on canvas to create work of intense color and expressive line of everyday still life and interiors. Her use of line makes her subjects appear to dance within her work. Candice Oyer creates work that is a mixture of painting, sculpture, and textile design. By weaving hand cut paper, Oyer is able to transform and manipulate materials into a story about life experiences, memories and dreams. Olga Resptushenko's ceramic work brings something new to the table. Her hand built, low-fired vessels seem to bloom out from the clay. Her petal like bowls are powerful and yet delicate. Gallery 111 will be open Tuesday-Friday 9:30-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30-5:00 p.m. All are invited to attend an artist reception on Saturday, Feb. 1 from 5-7 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. Stop by to see the art, meet with the artists, and enjoy the arts in Concord. Gallery 111 in Frame-ables 111 Thoreau Street, Concord, MA 978-369-5053.

Verrill Farm

Saturday, Feb. 1, 9 a.m. to noon: Pancake Breakfast. Pancakes, griddlecakes or flapjacks—by any name, nothing beats a ‘stack’ served up with bacon or sausage and Massachusetts made real maple syrup on a winter morning! Breakfast also includes juice and milk or coffee and takes place in the heated greenhouse beside the stand. No reservations necessary. $7.50 per adult, $4.50 for kids under 10, excluding tax.

Gridiron Goodies for Super Bowl Sunday

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 2. Verrill Farm’s kitchen team is preparing a winning selection of finger foods to munch on during the game. Choices include Buffalo and BBQ wings and fingers, steak tips, pork quesadillas, guacamole and onion dip. These fan favorites and others are available, first come, first served - no matter who’s playing!

Tax break coming

Rep. Cory Atkins (D-Concord) announced that as of Jan. 1, 2014, the state income tax will decrease for the second time in three years from 5.25 percent to 5.2 percent. Atkins praised the move, citing “sound fiscal management and commitment to passing responsible budgets on time.”

COA Art Space News

Jill Colpak is our exhibitor this month through the end of February. Jill is well known in the Concord community and has done many travel presentations in the past. She has enjoyed photography and has had her own camera since she was a small child. In recent years she has paid more attention to artistic photography, especially with the advent of digital cameras. Her friends and neighbors have enjoyed many of her photographs, and we are very pleased to have her exhibit here at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center.

Let’s see your wedding photo!

Would you like to be part of the COA’s “Wedding in May” exhibit here at the Council on Aging? (This was done once before here at the COA and it was a big hit!) The exhibit will run from May 16—June 27 and will culminate in a wedding party. If you have an unframed wedding photo you would like to share with the larger community, please call to put your name on our list. Exhibitors will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

COA lectures

Elliott Lilien on World War I. Don’t miss this opportunity. Fridays, Jan. 24 and 31 at 1 p.m.
World War I was the greatest historical catastrophe to ever hit human beings. So it is understandable that there should be great interest in what caused such a calamity. Please join Dr. Elliott Lilien as he offers a four-part presentation on World War I. The four presentations will look at (1) the period before the war (2) the crisis that produced the war (3) the manner in which the war was accepted and fought, and (4) the immediate and more remote consequences. Dr. Lilien will discuss the results of the war in music, art, philosophy, and religion. In the past few years there have been major new books published looking at this period in our nation’s history; Dr. Lilien will discuss these books to bring everyone up to date. Dr. Lilien taught at Concord Carlisle High School from 1965 to 2000. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago, Columbia Law School, and Harvard University. He is an engaging and dynamic speaker who encourages questions and discussion. He is a much sought-after speaker, and we are very pleased to be able to offer this series of presentations free of charge, thanks to the financial support of the Concord Friends of the Aging. These presentations will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. You may attend any or all of the sessions. We need 25 people signed up in order to host Dr. Lilien. Please call the COA to sign-up!

Music Appreciation VIII
Mondays, Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10, March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 at 1:00 p.m.

Join concert pianist, composer, and Concord Conservatory of Music faculty member, Keith Kirchoff, for his eighth session of classes here at the COA. This semester of the Music Appreciation series will help to teach the student how to listen to classical music most effectively. With a focus on thematic recognition, formal structures, and simple aural analysis, students will seek to deepen their understanding of great masterworks. With an emphasis being placed upon works featured in upcoming local concerts, the students will be invited to suggest pieces to analyze together in class. Additionally, each week the participants of the class will be given listening assignments which can be done online. Access to an internet connection—though not required—is highly encouraged. This class is open to all, regardless of musical background. Previous enrollment in the Music Appreciation sequence is not required. The class will meet from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for ten Mondays. Cost will be $75 for the ten 90-minute classes. Please make your check payable to the Concord Conservatory. Call to sign up.

Friday Afternoons at 2 p.m. in the Lecture Hall—No Need to Sign up in Advance (FREE)

Tomorrow (Jan. 24)The Impossible – Tracking one family's harrowing experiences, this gripping drama depicts the chaos generated by the massive 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. On December 26, the family is vacationing in Thailand when unthinkable disaster strikes. Starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. (Drama; 114 minutes; 2012 Rated PG-13)

Concord Orchestra Winter Concert

Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. Concord Orchestra—51 Walden Street—978-369-4967—
The orchestra is conducted by Richard Pittman. Kent William Hisada, winner of the 2014 Ehlers Young Artist Competition, will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major. Also on the program is New England Triptych by William Schuman and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World. Competition runners-up will give a pre-concert recital each evening at 7:15. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for senior citizens, and $10 for students.

Concord-Carlisle Community Connections Initiative: Life Lessons outside the High School Classroom

Seniors in town have been invited to participate in a two-year pilot program called Concord-Carlisle Community Connections. This is a new collaborative, community-mentoring program that connects students in the second semester of their senior year at CCHS with community leaders and residents in a variety of disciplines or with significant life experiences. The program seeks to improve student appreciation and understanding of the challenges, inner-workings, and skill sets necessary for professional and personal success in real-world environments. It is anticipated that senior mentor/student participation in this program will facilitate an intergenerational exchange of ideas and life experiences. Student participation will be actively encouraged, with the hope that students come away with a feeling that many things are possible in life through perseverance, determination and personal effort.
This program will be facilitated by COA volunteer Bob Bratzler. Students and participating senior citizen mentors are asked to make a commitment to five sessions, scheduled on the following Thursdays: March 13, 27, April 10, May 1 and 8. Sessions will be held at HWCC from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may call now to sign up! Should you have any questions, please contact John Fossett, Concord-Carlisle Community Connections Founder and Program Director, at 978-369-0049, or Bonny Wilbur, COA Program Supervisor at 978-318-3020.

Trails End Cafe

Work has begun to convert the Trails End Cafe from a coffee and lunch spot to a full service restaurant and bar at the intersection of Lowell and Keyes roads. It is anticipated that the renovation project will take approximately three months to complete.

Do you want to volunteer for a town board or committee? The following positions are open at the moment. To signal your interest, go to and download an electronic green card, or pick one up at the Town House. The date of the listing is at the right and the appointing body is in the center.

Board of Appeals, Associated Member—Board of Selectmen—11/13/12

Concord Housing Development Corporation—Board of Selectmen—1/13/12

Records & Archives Committee—Board of Selectmen—11/13/12

Youth Coordinator Advisory Board—Board of Selectmen—11/13/12

Board of Assessors, Associate Member—Town Manager with Board of Selectmen Approval—11/13/12

Natural Resources Commission, Associate Member—Town Manager with Board of Selectmen Approval—11/13/12

Board of Health—Town Manager—11/13/12

Betsy Levinson can be reached at

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